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Career as a consultant?

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  • #43067

    BB
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,
    I am six sigma blackbelt and I am interviewing for a process improvement position with a consulting firm.  Responsibility is to help different companies to launch a process improvement initiative.I was wondering if anyone can shine some light on this particular career field.  Is this an interesting industry to be in?  Will this position help me grow career wise?  If I decide to leave this position in a few years, will other companies see the value of this particular experience.  Any advise will be appreciated.Thank you in advance.
    BB

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    #136309

    Arun Kumar
    Participant

    I suggest  you apply some  of BB tools especially  GAP Analysis – Where  you are and Where you want  to be in  5  years or   10 years.  Bottom  line results  –   per BB  definition in  Career. Good Luck on new endeavors.

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    #136338

    BB
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply,
    Can anyone provide some more advise on the career outlook after being a consultant?
     
    Thank you.
     
    BB

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    #136341

    Digby Bakarak
    Participant

    “Consultant”/”Career”
    “Used Car Salesman”/”Professional”
    “Oil”/”Water”
    (…any questions?)

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    #136354

    Eugene Jacquescoley
    Participant

    BB,
    Have you thought about accounting firms like KPMG or EY LLP.
    E

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    #136364

    BB
    Participant

    Hi E,
     
    No, I have not.  The consulting firm I am interviewing for is strictly for the pharma industry.  I am researching whether this is a worthwhile career to go into.
    Thanks.
    BB
     
    BB

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    #136365

    Yeah
    Member

    Well, If you are skilled I think that you will have a fortune. Our Black Belts is travelling to other companies, so they question is – “Is it better to hire than to train?”. If we train one, the possibility that that person will travel on to other firms (and competitors) will arise.
    To hire a consultant will always be interesting. But I think that you might be exhausted…
    If it is you´r bag – go for it!!!! Continously contact the same firms that did say “NO!”, don´t give up. I think that you are ahead of the industry! Don´t give up. If you have a good idea, everyone will tell you that your idea sucks. So, that is a good measure of a good idea!!!
    Quite Anonymoys
     

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    #136377

    BB
    Participant

    Thanks Everyone for the advise.  I ll give it a try if I get the job.
    Thanks again 
     
    BB

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    #136379

    TwoCents
    Member

    I work for a small Six Sigma/Lean/QMS training firm…and I love it.
    Am I the best Black Belt in the world?  No.  (LOL, I wouldn’t tell my clients this, but I don’t mind admitting it on an anonymous website :) ).  But, doing this for a living forces you to figure out what you don’t know, which I think is great for developing your own skills.  I can’t speak for how you would respond, but, quite frankly, the fear of standing up in front of a class and not having the right answers drives me to do my homework.
    Furthermore, I work with lots of different types of companies all the time.  The exposure to new processes and industries is really very interesting, and I find it rewarding to help companies to look at things in a different light, particularly when the people that I train save their organizations big bucks.  I came from a large corporate entity, and I felt like I was getting “pigeon-holed” when it came to the types of projects and processes that I was working on, so this is a very welcome change.
    The only downside that I’m facing is that there is basically no opportunity for upward mobility.  Like I said, we are quite small (about 30 employees) and therefore very flat.  Therefore, I doubt I’m going to be running the place any time soon.  However, I’m taking the experience, enjoying the time, and I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.  I think of it as an enjoyable layover while I figure out what I want to do when I grow up :).
    Oh, yeah, and they’re paying me pretty darn well :).

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    #136383

    Erika
    Participant

    Congrats on your new endeavor.  I hope you enjoy your path into Pharmaceutical Six Sigma consulting.  One thing you might consider is that any time you are working in an FDA-regulated industry, the gov is going to be very conservative and set in their ways about what kind of t-tests you can do and exactly how you have to set up validation studies.  I came from pharma and medical devices and I left because I got tired of trying to convince them that there were better ways to do things that were out of the norm – i.e., if you are worried about getting pigeon-holed, don’t work in a government-regulated area.
    In one case where money was tight and samples took a long time and were expensive to gather, I brought up using Monte Carlo simulation (bootstrapping, in particular) to help get confidence intervals.  Needless to say, the FDA guidelines prevented any deviation from the usual statistical procedures – I ended up feeling like a helpless SAS-monkey in the end.  I hope your experience is a better one.
    -Erika

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    #136385

    Vinay
    Member

    Best wishes but as Erika mentioned in her e-mail, sometimes it is very frustating working in a industry that is very heavily regulated and people are not ready for a change. As a six sigma black belt your job is to deal with conflict management and if you have the best idea present it with good justification, do not get frustated and you would succeed.
     

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    #136394

    BB
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for the comments and advices. 
    Hi Twocents, Will you please provide a email where you can be reached?  If not, it is ok as well. 
     
    Thank you.
    BB

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    #136396

    TwoCents
    Member

    Sure:
    [email protected]
    If you send me something, post that you did on here…cuz I don’t really check this account all that often :).

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    #136401

    BB
    Participant

    Hi Twocents,
     
    I have just emailed you. 
    Thank you.
    BB

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    #136402

    BB
    Participant

    Hi Twocents,
    I have one last email for you.
    Thanks
    BB

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    #136618

    Ron
    Member

    Hi, I have read the threads and wanted to comment.  I am starting a new job as an MBB May 1 for a new company – so not consulting.  I decided it was best for me for many reasons, such as:
    1) Consultants travel too much and I have a family
    2) Moving up to executive management ($150k+ salary plus big bonus) is very achieveable in corporate jobs for MBB’s.  Consultants can make this too but you need to look at other things like vacation, 401k, benefits.  Some big consulting firms may offer this so check it out.
    3) Consulting = Sales.  This is bad for me but may be great for you.
    One question I have is this.  Are you a BB?  If so, can you become an MBB at current company?  If so, then your options are so much better to move up the ladder.  BB’s are now a dime a dozen now and since there are so many out there who are clueless being a BB is not as impressive as it was 5 years ago.  So that is why I stress the MBB.

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    #136625

    TwoCents
    Member

    Ahh, inflation at its finest.  Five years from now, we’ll have to be “Super-secret Master Black Belts” in order to get any respect. :)
    What’s this world coming to?

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    #136631

    Prabal Aggarwal
    Participant

    Hello friends
    I have followed this thread, and it was quite an interesting discussion. I would also throw some light on it.
    I am a multiskilled person in the field of production, r&d, HR and projects.
    Through my experience i can say that today is the world of lateral thinking.Where ever you will go, you will find a system. And system  can’t be perfect as no thermodynamic cycle can give 100% efficiency. So there is always a scope of improving it. And now when you are in the field of six sigma, then your only endeavour is to move towards 100% efficiency. Though you will find equations different everywhere you will go but baseline remains the same. So my suggestion is in this process of improving, improve your ability to improve. That will be a differentiating factor between you and others, and between you today and you tomorrow.
    All the best for career as a consultant.
    Prabal Aggarwal

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    #136646

    R.M.Parkhi
    Participant

    Dear BB,
    The career you are planning is very rewarding, provided you go on updating yourself with latest knowledge areas. You should spend enough time on regular basis for studies.
    As I have seen in my case, if you deliver good results to your clients, some of them will  offer very challenging & rewarding career offers.
    However, there will be some dry spells; and you should plan financially very well.
    With regards,
    R.M.Parkhi

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    #136704

    Ruddy
    Participant

    Ron,
    I have a question about what is the responsibility of MBB? Just more statistics knoweledge than BB or others?
    thanks
    Michael

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    #136708

    Ron
    Member

    Hi Michael,
    At my company (soon to be former company) to be an MBB you must have completed GB training (2 weeks) and project, BB training (2 more weeks) and project, MBB training (3+weeks) including DFSS training plus 2 more personal projects. 
    You also must mentor to completion 10 projects.  We also had to facilitate GB and BB training, rewrite a training module, publish a paper or present at a conference, plus some other things I know I am leaving out.  All in all it took me over 3 years to complete this and I was hustling. 
    In MBB training we did learn more advanced tools but nothing crazy.  In fact, when I went through BB training we didn’t touch on things like multicolinearity (spell?).  I only learned about this in MBB training but now we teach this in BB.  So as with all things our program is advancing.
    Ron

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    #136840

    Ruddy
    Participant

    Ron,
    Thanks for your information about MBB responsibility. As i know, in my company, a MBB also should combine business Y( business short term direction/ issue) with BB/GB project. Direct BB/GB’s project at these goal? and I think it also 70% time for MBB, not training and push six sigma culture.  Does same in your company?
    thanks
     
    Michael

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    #136850

    Ron
    Member

    Definitely.  MBB’s definitely need to help drive the SS program in a such a way that value is added to the organization.  Balanced Scorecards (if done right) can really help with this. 

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    #136857

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    BB,
    “…..will other companies see the value of this particular experience.” That would be a stupid reason to become a consultant. If you want to do it then do it. Do not do it because you think someone will value it later. It is your life live it for yourself and don’t worry about others will see as valuable.
    Personally I like the consulting lifestyle for the most part. It has a price tag that goes with it. If you have children you will become a small and possibly insignificant part of there lives. If you are married there is a good chance you will not be for long. Your friends, as you know them will change because you will not be around so they stop calling and you find different ones. My grandfather told me once to never spend a lot of traveling because I would get gypsie blood and I would never be able to stop. It was funny at the time and even though my blood is the same as it always was, it is difficult to not travel.
    Personal opinion. Get hold of the PI index (check out a blog by Gary Cone) guys and have them do your drives. If you are not a highest A type personality then you need to think really hard about this choice. If you are thin skinned then you definately need another field. Understand that when you walk into a new client you are alone in what you believe and waht you are about to do. If you don’t have more than financially driven motives you are immediately at a disadvantage.
    Given all that the expoerience is great. You see a lot of industries and a lot of different environments. You will understand in about 2 years that everything that people believe makes them different is what makes them the same and that the industry to industry differences are primarily perceived as are the cultural differences. The company culture is where the difference lies.
    This quote from Machiavelli will come to make a lot of sense:
    One ought to pause and consider the fact that there is nothing harder to undertake, nothing more likely of failure, nothing more risky to pull off, than to set oneself up as a leader who plans to found a new system of government, For the founder makes enemies of all those who are doing well under the old
    system, and has only lukewarm support from those who hope to do well under the new one. The weakness of their support springs partly from their fear of their adversaries, who have the law on their side, partly from their own want of faith. For men do not truly believe in new things until they have had practical experience with them.
     
    Machiavelli
    The Prince
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

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    #136859

    Darth
    Participant

    Hey Mike,
    Welcome back from whatever hellish trip you have been on.  I missed your sage input during some rather tense threads.  Send me a note offline so we can catch up on what is going on.

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    #136862

    Garth Finster
    Participant

    I will always remember the day my grandfather told me, “If you can, you should be a doctor, but if that doesn’t work out maybe you could be a dentist.  But if that doesn’t work maybe you could be a pharmacist, or an artist, or an engineer, or an accountant, or a professor, or a teacher, or a mechanic, or a salesman, or a forest ranger, or a factory worker, or a construction equipment operator, or a construction worker, or a trucker, or a tour guide, or a bus driver, or a butler, or a secretary, or a farmhand, or a custodian, or a meat packing plant worker, or a city sewage worker, or a rendering truck driver.  And if it turns out you ain’t good at nothing at all, you could always be one’a them consultants and I will still love you ’cause you’re family.”

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    #136863

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    Thank you. It is great to be home – kind of – I have 10 weeks of mail to deal with. Had to put a slot in the door because the USPS and their Customer Perfect program decided I was stopping my mail “to much.” (can’t seem to get a number on that one). The really interesting part is my serious mail goes to a PO Box so the slot is so the USPS can deliver the junk mail. Where is the VOC on that one? Now I need a truck to push the door open when I return.
    Would love to call and talk.
    Regards,
    Mike

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    #136865

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    GF,
    Even with the somewhat bigoted undertones of my grandfathers comment about the blood we still loved him because he was family.
    I assume you still loved your grandfather after advice like that.
    Good luck.

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    #136867

    Darth
    Participant

    Mike, please forward a valid phone number to my email address and I will call you.  Mrs. Darth frequently asks whether I have “talked” to you.  She definitely must have had too much to drink that night to recall you as being such a nice guy.

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    #136871

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    It is a stats question. She has one data point so the confidence interval is the issue.
    I will send the phone.
    Take care.
    Regards

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    #136874

    Darth
    Participant

    Mike, appreciate the offer of the phone, but I have a working one so just send the phone number, thanks.

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    #136877

    The Warden
    Member

    Here’s the telephone Mike will send, boosted from the five star accomodations of the Pink Palace in RSA, with a short stopover and cab ride from a taxi driver in Mumbai with or without headlights.

    Darth, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Accept Mike’s gift and put an extension in the poolhouse. After all, we don’t have this level of technology here in the states. (I think the one on the right is a multi-line model.)

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    #136879

    Darth
    Participant

    Got me with that one and hilarious as usual, thanks.

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    #136892

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    The Warden,
    With the rolling black outs we were having in Capetown there were occassions we were down to this technology.
    Regards

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    #137182

    BB
    Participant

    Hi Twocents,
    I just emailed you again.  Please reply when you get a chance.
    Thanks.
     
    To all who have contributed to this post.:
    Thank you for all the comments and suggestions.  My time has come to decide whether to accept the offer or not.  BB

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